For any company with money and their reputation on the line, if something goes wrong with one of their products, it is important to make sure that those products are destroyed and don’t end up on the black market.
Yet it can be difficult to find specialized disposal companies that can meet your specific needs as a manufacturer or retailer.
In fact, you may need to look outside your local market to find a reputable disposal company capable of handling your type of product(s). The right company, no matter where it is located, will have the resources to ensure your products are destroyed and disposed of correctly.
Below we explore what can go wrong when your unused or unwanted products fall into the wrong hands and what to look for in a product destruction service to ensure your company’s quality standards and reputation stay intact.
How Product Disposal Can Go Wrong
One of the most common mistakes manufacturers make when searching for a product disposal company is looking for those that offer the lowest price or are located the closest distance from their manufacturing facilities.
Neither of these should be the most important criteria behind the selection of a certified product disposal company. Though neither automatically foreshadows an ominous outcome, these factors do not guarantee your products will be safely disposed of. Furthermore, disposal companies with the least amount of experience are often the ones that offer deals too good to be true.
And if something is too good to be true, it likely is.
Placing your trust with the wrong product disposal company can have disastrous consequences.
Your products can land on the grey market if employee theft leads to your damaged goods being sold on eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or another online site.
The grey market is the trade of a commodity through distribution channels unintended or unauthorized by the original manufacturer. While consumers believe they are getting great deals on your products, they often get damaged, blemished or expired products that can tarnish your brand’s identity.
Your liability can also increase if you do not properly destroy and dispose of defective or expired products. This includes recalled products and those that no longer meet government regulatory compliance. Even products that do not meet your own company standards should be destroyed.
In some cases, you may be required to have a product destroyed due to patent and copyright infringement or seized imported goods, such as handbags, counterfeit licensed goods, perfumes, clothing and jewelry. Not satisfying a court order to destroy these products through certified product destruction can lead to substantial fines and penalties.
If prototypes and product test runs are not properly destroyed, you may inadvertently leak your proprietary information to competitors as well. Even electronics that contain the memory of files and software should be properly disposed of when they are no longer wanted or needed.
How To Ensure Product Disposal Goes Right
Certified product destruction goes beyond handing over your products to a disposal company and trusting that you - or anyone else - will never see it again. Certified product destruction is authenticated so that you can be assured that your products will not be resold or used illegally.
But how can you ensure you are working with a company that is professional, confidential and reputable?
The certified product disposal company you choose should:
- Check your products for any hazardous ingredients or components to them
- Provide you with a detailed product disposal plan so that you have peace of mind and know what steps will be taken to ensure your products are destroyed properly
- Help you complete any manifest forms required for the disposal of your products
- Take photos and/or video of the destruction process to offer verification that your products have been disposed of appropriately and to provide a “chain of custody” - a paper trail that documents transfer of custody, analysis and proper disposal of your products
- Request and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction from the disposal facility for your records
- Provide you with references of previous clients who can verify your company’s commitment to protecting your products and providing you with excellent customer service
In addition to these qualities, you should also make sure the company is certified, licensed, bonded and has experience disposing of your particular products. That is because many materials can have their own state and federal requirements for proper disposal.
What About An Alternative?
It may be tempting to choose an alternative way to dispose or destroy your products, especially if there are no companies nearby that offer certified product destruction services or you have a limited budget.
Many manufacturers would prefer to up-cycle or recycle if possible while others may find the ease of sending unwanted products to a landfill more desirable. However, many of these alternative disposal options do not offer enough protection for your brand.
Certified product destruction is required if harm to your brand can come from your products ending up in unattended hands that care more about a quick buck than your hard-earned name and reputation.